Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
Bad Things May Be Good for You:
creativity and regret
Alan Dix
Lancaster University
www.hcibook.co...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
today I am not talking about …
• intelligent internet interfaces
fuzzy personal ontologies and
str...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
… or even lots of lights
http:/www.hcibook.com/alan/projects/firefly/
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
... but I will talk about
bad ideas for creativity and design
understanding regret
linked by imagi...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
bad ideas
for creativity and design
origins ... nearly 15 years ago, UG research methods ...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
design exercise (recent example)
Collaborative or Social Networking Thing* for
babies and/or paren...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
prompts …
THE BAD
1 what is bad about this idea?
2 why is this a bad thing?
3 are there any other ...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
make it a good idea
• What is good - keep it
• What is bad - change it
• Change context
• Learn fr...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
Good Ideas
why bad ideas?
training:
– low commitment => easier to critique
design:
– large jumps t...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
Bad Ideas
why bad ideas?
training:
– low commitment => easier to critique
design:
– large jumps th...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
why bad ideas?
training:
– low commitment => easier to critique
design:
– large jumps through the ...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
plus ...
• other divergent techniques:
– random metaphors, putting ideas together
• arbitrary cons...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
bad ideas ... related things ...
critical transitions
examples
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
critical transitions
• construct a boundary case …
– example A in category B not in category
– mak...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
but how to find examples?
• generating examples – hard
• examples from experience easy ??? or is i...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
but how to find examples?
• generating examples – hard
• examples from experience easy ??? or is i...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
but how to find examples?
• generating examples – hard
• examples from experience ... actually har...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
modelling regret
W
ARNING!
speculative
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
why regret?
it seems such a negative emotion
is there some adaptive reason for it?
... or just an ...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
features of regret
• modal/counterfactual “what if” analysis
• worst when you ‘nearly’ averted dis...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
sensesaction
emotion
(3) evaluation
ow! it hurts!
(4) learnt association
touching thorn
is bad
(1)...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
sensesaction
emotion
(4) veto
(2) learnt association
‘fires’
No action!
(1) about to
touch thorn
(...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
sensesaction
(3) learnt
association fires
(1) imagination of
planned action
(2) causes similar
bra...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
only works for instant effects
so what about delayed effects?
(e.g. poisonous plant)
need imaginat...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
sensesaction
emotion
(3) evaluation
“that hurts”
(1) touch plant (2) some time
later your finger
i...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
sensesaction
(7) learnt association
don’t touch that plant
why?
(5) recent salient events
brought ...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
sensesaction
(3) evaluation
yuck :-(
(7) learnt association
drinking beer is yucky
(1) drink beer ...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
and now regret ...
similar but also:
causal connections
moderating emotions
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
sensesaction
emotion
(3) evaluation
yuck :-(
(1) drink beer (2) next morning
feel sick
why?
(4) de...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
sensesaction
(7) learnt association
even though action
not obviously linked
or most salient
“drink...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
sensesaction(7) learnt association
stronger or weaker
depending on
strength of emotion
(5) imagina...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
but is it true?
if I were a psychologist
I would run an experiment
if I were a brain scientist
I w...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
model architecture
game
mechanics
stimulus
cards dealt
response
stick/twist
effect
win/lose
SRE
as...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
it works!
faster (not better) learning 
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
the data
no regret
iteration %best
50 87.47
100 94.43
500 97.27
1000 97.94
with regret
iteration %...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
and the twist ... positive regret
the code:
if ( effect negative ) do Regret
positive regret?
the ...
Southampton 9 Feb. 2009
bad things really may be good
Bad Ideas make us creative
– with the right prompts
Regret helps us ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Bad Things May Be Good for You: creativity and regret

Talk at ECS, Southampton University, 9th February, 2009.

I will talk about two different ways in which things that appear bad, may actually do you good. The first part is about BadIdeas, a technique used over a number of years to encourage technical creativity and innovation. As well as the technique itself, I will talk about some of the reasons why it works and about tentative steps to understand the nature of technical creativity and at a crude level model it. The second part will focus on regret, this time starting with a tentative model of regret and then seeing how this was used to inspire a computational model to speed up simple machine learning. However, analysing the results of the computational model in turn suggests insights into the nature of human regret. Creativity and regret are linked in that they both involve a rich interplay between analytic/rational thinking and more emotional/imaginative insight.

Related Audiobooks

Free with a 30 day trial from Scribd

See all
  • Be the first to comment

Bad Things May Be Good for You: creativity and regret

  1. 1. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 Bad Things May Be Good for You: creativity and regret Alan Dix Lancaster University www.hcibook.com/alan/ www.alandix.com
  2. 2. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 today I am not talking about … • intelligent internet interfaces fuzzy personal ontologies and structure from folksonomies • visualisation and sampling • situated displays, eCampus, small device – large display interactions • fun and games, virtual crackers, artistic performance, slow time • physicality and product design but have before
  3. 3. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 … or even lots of lights http:/www.hcibook.com/alan/projects/firefly/
  4. 4. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 ... but I will talk about bad ideas for creativity and design understanding regret linked by imagination and rationality for innovation in computing for innovation in computing using computational modeling using computational modeling
  5. 5. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 bad ideas for creativity and design origins ... nearly 15 years ago, UG research methods ...
  6. 6. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 design exercise (recent example) Collaborative or Social Networking Thing* for babies and/or parents of babies … … but … design a bad one / silly one * at least some physical token or device, not purely web/digital
  7. 7. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 prompts … THE BAD 1 what is bad about this idea? 2 why is this a bad thing? 3 are there any other things that share this feature but are not bad? 4 if so what is the difference? try different contexts used car salesman – how would you sell it to someone? THE GOOD 1 what is good about this idea? 2 why is this a good thing? 3 anything that shares this feature but is not good? 4 if so what is the difference?
  8. 8. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 make it a good idea • What is good - keep it • What is bad - change it • Change context • Learn from aspects
  9. 9. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 Good Ideas why bad ideas? training: – low commitment => easier to critique design: – large jumps through the design space ? ?
  10. 10. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 Bad Ideas why bad ideas? training: – low commitment => easier to critique design: – large jumps through the design space
  11. 11. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 why bad ideas? training: – low commitment => easier to critique design: – large jumps through the design space – understanding of the design space Bad Ideas Meta-level dimensions criteria properties
  12. 12. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 plus ... • other divergent techniques: – random metaphors, putting ideas together • arbitrary constraints: – time, materials, etc. • externalisation • personality prostheses
  13. 13. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 bad ideas ... related things ... critical transitions examples
  14. 14. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 critical transitions • construct a boundary case … – example A in category B not in category – make ‘path of small changes from A to B – where does it ‘cross’ the boundary – good for ‘felt’ categories in category not in category A B critical transition
  15. 15. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 but how to find examples? • generating examples – hard • examples from experience easy ??? or is it ??? past now old concept experience need
  16. 16. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 but how to find examples? • generating examples – hard • examples from experience easy ??? or is it ??? past now new concept experience need generate examplesimilar surface characteristics
  17. 17. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 but how to find examples? • generating examples – hard • examples from experience ... actually harder! but .. generating examples ... • take arbitrary concrete example • morph to new concept • constant concrete – abstract movement
  18. 18. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 modelling regret W ARNING! speculative
  19. 19. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 why regret? it seems such a negative emotion is there some adaptive reason for it? ... or just an accident
  20. 20. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 features of regret • modal/counterfactual “what if” analysis • worst when you ‘nearly’ averted disaster • seems to be about learning so how do we learn ....
  21. 21. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 sensesaction emotion (3) evaluation ow! it hurts! (4) learnt association touching thorn is bad (1) touch thorn (2) thorn pricks finger basic reactions - learning
  22. 22. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 sensesaction emotion (4) veto (2) learnt association ‘fires’ No action! (1) about to touch thorn (3) bad feeling basic reactions – moderating action
  23. 23. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 sensesaction (3) learnt association fires (1) imagination of planned action (2) causes similar brain activity to actually doing it! emotion (4) veto basic reactions – moderating intention
  24. 24. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 only works for instant effects so what about delayed effects? (e.g. poisonous plant) need imagination!
  25. 25. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 sensesaction emotion (3) evaluation “that hurts” (1) touch plant (2) some time later your finger is sore why? (4) desire to make sense delayed effect – the gap
  26. 26. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 sensesaction (7) learnt association don’t touch that plant why? (5) recent salient events brought to mind (6) causes simultaneous activation in relevant areas emotion delayed effect – bringing to mind
  27. 27. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 sensesaction (3) evaluation yuck :-( (7) learnt association drinking beer is yucky (1) drink beer (2) next morning feel sick (4) desire to make sense why? (5) recent salient events brought to mind (6) causes simultaneous activation in relevant areas emotion delayed effect – put it together
  28. 28. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 and now regret ... similar but also: causal connections moderating emotions
  29. 29. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 sensesaction emotion (3) evaluation yuck :-( (1) drink beer (2) next morning feel sick why? (4) desire to make sense regret – the gap
  30. 30. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 sensesaction (7) learnt association even though action not obviously linked or most salient “drinking beer is yucky” (5) imagination causes simultaneous activation in relevant areas emotion (4) logical deduction of what mattered determines what is brought to mind (6) causes negative emotion “if only I hadn’t” … regret regret – casual thinking
  31. 31. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 sensesaction(7) learnt association stronger or weaker depending on strength of emotion (5) imagination causes simultaneous activation in relevant areas emotion (4) logical deduction of what mattered determines what is brought to mind (6) logical deduction of how much it matters influences strength of emotion regret – modifying emotion
  32. 32. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 but is it true? if I were a psychologist I would run an experiment if I were a brain scientist I would do a scan but as a computer scientist ... ... build a computer model
  33. 33. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 model architecture game mechanics stimulus cards dealt response stick/twist effect win/lose SRE assoclookup and choose emotion update plug-in regret module post-hoc info. further cards dealt modify basic ML module
  34. 34. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 it works! faster (not better) learning 
  35. 35. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 the data no regret iteration %best 50 87.47 100 94.43 500 97.27 1000 97.94 with regret iteration %best 50 90.05 100 97.31 150 97.94 1000 98.60
  36. 36. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 and the twist ... positive regret the code: if ( effect negative ) do Regret positive regret? the grass is greener ... in code has greatest effect – ameliorates winner takes all local minima for people too? coder thinks, “do we need the condition?”
  37. 37. Southampton 9 Feb. 2009 bad things really may be good Bad Ideas make us creative – with the right prompts Regret helps us learn – maybe machines too understanding how we think helps us: – develop practical techniques – maybe even tools both need imagination and rationality

×